Amex Improves Transfer Rate From Membership Rewards to British Airways Avios

Jul 13, 2017

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Back in October 2015, American Express Membership Rewards devalued the transfer ratio to British Airways Avios. Instead of being able to transfer points 1:1, the transfer rate was dropped to 250 Membership Rewards = 200 Avios. The transfer rate has stayed at this point ever since, with only the rare bonus making it a better deal.

Well, without fanfare, it looks like the old 1:1 ratio is back! Spencer Howard first pointed out the situation this afternoon on Twitter:

We checked out our Membership Rewards accounts to see if Spencer was just a lucky member. But, our accounts also show the new 250:250 transfer ratio:

Amex MR to Avios 1 to 1

To confirm that a transfer wouldn’t error out, I transferred the minimum number of 250 Membership Rewards to Avios:

MR Avios transfer confirmation

The transfer was successful, and the points immediately posted to my Avios account — as expected:

BA points transfer confirmation

TPG reached out to American Express to inquire if this is a limited time offer or the new normal. Just before publication, we heard the good news: The change is permanent!

American Express now leads the industry in reward program partners

Today, two of Amex’s Membership Rewards airline transfer partners, British Airways and Iberia, are increasing the transfer ratio for their rewards program, Avios. The transfer is increasing from a 5:4 to a 1:1 transfer ratio.

With this update, Amex’s Membership Rewards program now offers the most 1:1 airline transfer partners – 11 in total.

Membership Rewards now also offers Card Members the opportunity to transfer points to 21 reward program partners, which is more than any other U.S. credit card rewards program.

Best Uses of Avios

What might you want to do with those Avios? Due to high fuel surcharges on British Airways’ own flights, you’ll be best off redeeming for travel on BA’s partners — you’ll get the best deal on short-haul flights. I’ve personally scored a one-way from Hong Kong (HKG) to Taipei (TPE) for just 4,500 Avios — a flight that often runs ~$500 one-way. Back in the States, you can use Avios to book American Airlines flights under 1,151 miles in length for just 7,500 Avios in economy or just 15,000 Avios in domestic first class.

West Coast flyers can use Avios to book flights to Hawaii via Alaska Airlines or American Airlines for just 12,500 Avios each way. Don’t feel left out East Coast flyers; you can fly from seven different cities to Dublin (DUB) for just 13,000 Avios one-way during off-peak periods.

Iberia A340-600 Premium Economy window seat pairs

Or, you can transfer Membership Rewards to Iberia Avios for steals like 25,500 Avios one-way in premium economy between New York’s JFK and Madrid (MAD).

Featured image courtesy of Getty Images.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® credit card

This card from Bank of America gets really interesting if you have a BofA checking, savings or investment account. Depending on the value of your combined accounts you can potentially get as much as 3.5x points on travel/dining and 2.625x points on other purchases making it the richest consumer banking bonus out there.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Receive 50,000 bonus points – a $500 value – after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases and unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • No limit to the points you can earn and your points don't expire
  • Redeem for cash back as a statement credit, deposit into eligible Bank of America® accounts, credit to eligible Merrill accounts, or gift cards or purchases at the Bank of America Travel Center
  • Get up to $200 in combined airline incidental and airport expedited screening statement credits + valuable travel insurance protections
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Low $95 annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Annual Fee
$95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.